Get $5 off your pre-order of THE READER'S ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR THIRD EDITION. Click here and enter RAGH21 at checkout. Works with your ALA Member Discount also.


I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Get Ready for ALA Annual-- Tomorrow with a Free Book Buzz Today!

While ALA Annual 2021 officially begins virtually tomorrow for paid attendees, there are also things that are available to participate in outside of the conference itself for FREE and for All.

Today, I will be highlighting some of those things...1 of which is this morning. and passing on a few ALA Virtual guides for you to refer to.

Before I begin, I wanted to let everyone know that I am NOT presenting by choice this year. I need a break from being the talent at these things, but I will be attending and enjoying the inspiration.

Here is the American Libraries official ALA Annual Preview.

Here is the Library Journal Official ALA Annual Preview.

Both of those links will give you a good sense of the highlights and what to expect. Even if you are not attending, I would look these over as they give you an idea of the overall themes and issues. Also they will help you to make sense of the Twitter chatter.

Speaking of, whether or not you have a Twitter account, I highly suggest you use this link to follow all of the #ALAAC21 action and discussion. Again, you do NOT need to have an account to read what is going on at this link. And you definitely don't need to be an attendee. Library Twitter does a great job of sharing information. Please take advantage. 

Another excellent resource that you can use to help readers whether you are attending the conference or not is the ALA Galley Guide compiled by Library Journal. Click here for access to the PDF with all of the titles and details

But also, click here for my 2019 post where I outlined how to use the Galley Guide as a resource in your libraries regardless of whether or not you attend the event. 

And, Booklist has a few of their in-person ALA events set up as FREE webinars outside of the dates of the conference. Click here for all of the FREE Booklist upcoming webinars and here for the FREE archives of past webinars.

I would like to point out 2 of those  events which I will be attending. Links go directly to their registration pages:

  • 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Gala: June 24th 3pm CentralCelebrate the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence at an exciting virtual gala hosted by Booklist and RUSA. Hear acceptance speeches from Carnegie Fiction winner James McBride, for Deacon King Kong (Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC), and Carnegie Nonfiction winner Rebecca Giggs, for Fathoms: The World in the Whale. (Simon & Schuster). Our keynote speaker will be novelist and journalist Thrity Umrigar, the best-selling author of, among others, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found, The Story Hour, Everybody’s Son, and The Secrets Between Us. This free, one-hour celebration is sponsored by NoveList.
  • Booklist Read N Rave: June 28th at 10 am central. This is where a panel of librarians take the books they heard about at ALA for which they are most excited and rave them quickly for everyone to know about. I have been on this panel multiple times before. It is a lot of frantic work for the panelists, but it is also pure joy for them and the audience.

Click here to register

But first, the library marketers have teamed up for a FREE Book Buzz this morning. You can click here to join, or check out the recording of this buzz and all past ones anytime on the ALMA YouTube Page here. I am all signed up. Maybe I will see you in the chat!

Even for the "Zoomed out", there is a lot going on over the next week or so in relation to ALA Annual and a lot of it is free. I hope you can find a moment to engage with the learning and inspiration.

Monday, June 21, 2021

LibraryReads Bonus: July 2021 Hall of Fame

Editor's note: There were 12 books on Hall of Fame list this month!!!! Think about that. Not a single one of the books on the main list would have made the July 2021 list and 2 of the HoF authors wouldn't have made it either. This is an example of equity in action. When I talk about being ACTIVE in your EDI work this is what I am talking about-- making sure that the widest group of books gets to be in the spotlight.

Kudos to LibraryReads and Executive Director, Rebecca Vnuk for working so hard to make sure the books library workers love are highlighted, especially the ones that might have gotten lost in the marketing machine shuffle. This month really highlights the hard work LibraryReads is doing all year long.

Also, titles by genre author like Grady Hendrix and Sonali Dev have been given some of that extra space since the advent of the Hall of Fame and now they are reaching HoF status leaving even more room for fresh and new voices.

To celebrate this achievement, LibraryReads has created a special second monthly list for just the Hall of Fame, which you can access here.

The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly LibraryReads list since 2013. When their third title places on the list via library staff votes, the author moves into our Hall of Fame.

Here is the overflowing with options, July 2021 Hall of Fame list!

Fallen: A Novel of Suspense

By Linda Castillo

Minotaur Books

"Get ready to drop everything to read the newest Kate Burkholder thriller, as Kate returns to Amish country after the brutal murder of a woman she knew as a child. All of Castillo’s trademarks are here--smarts, suspense, twists and turns--making this 13th series entry feel as fresh as the first." 

—Heather VanFleet, Genesee District Library, Mt. Morris, MI 

NoveList read-alike: Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow

False Witness: A Novel

By Karin Slaughter

William Morrow

“Leigh is a successful Atlanta attorney while her estranged sister, Callie, is a drug addict. When Leigh defends a serial rapist, she and Callie are forced to confront their traumatic past and complicated future. This is a thrill ride with satisfying depth and two main characters worth rooting for.” 

—Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY 

NoveList read-alike: The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace


The Final Girl Support Group

By Grady Hendrix


“In the horror genre, the final girl is the last one standing at the end. Now imagine a group of them being targeted by a killer on the loose. Who will survive this time? Hendrix scatters plenty of twists and horror references throughout his latest novel.” 

—Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH 

NoveList read-alike: Final Girls by Riley Sager

For Your Own Good

By Samantha Downing


“Belmont Academy is one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. However, teacher Teddy Crutcher despises many of the elitist parents and entitled pupils, and he plans to do something about it. This nonstop roller coaster ride will have readers turning pages deep into the night.”

—KC Davis, Fairfield Woods Library, Fairfield, CT

NoveList read-alike: Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris

A Good Day for Chardonnay: A Novel

By: Darynda Jones

St. Martin’s Press

“Sheriff Sunshine Vicram returns with a new case involving old flame Levi, while also having her hands full with her independent daughter who can't seem to avoid dicey situations of her own. Another delightful entry in this series of zany mysteries set in New Mexico.” 

—Emily Chandler, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN 
NoveList read-alike: Detective Betty series by Kathleen Kent

Incense and Sensibility: A Novel

By Sonali Dev

William Morrow Paperbacks

“Yash, a rigid political up-and-comer, must work with India, a stress coach and family friend, after being shot at at a rally. The two must overcome their shared past, secrets, and mental roadblocks to succeed in life and love. For fans of Jasmine Guillory and Helen Hoang.” 

—Kari Bingham-Gutierrez, Olathe Public Library, Olathe, KS 

NoveList read-alike: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Isn't It Bromantic?

By Lyssa Kay Adams

Berkley Jove

“It’s refreshing to read a romance featuring men with healthy friendships who discuss mental health and how to combat toxic masculinity. This installment of the Bromance series focuses on hockey player Vlad and his wife Elena and also celebrates their Russian heritage.” 

—Jennifer Sullivan, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA 

NoveList read-alike: Playbook series by Alexa Martin

It Happened One Summer: A Novel

By Tessa Bailey


“Piper lands in a remote Pacific Northwest town lacking the glamour of her superficial ‘It-girl’ lifestyle. But her determination to accomplish something real leads to a budding romance with a gruff fisherman. Don’t be fooled by the spoiled heroine--Bailey’s fans will fall in love with this book."

—Jessica C. Williams, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, Tiffin, OH

NoveList read-alike: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Last Guard

By Nalini Singh


“As the Psy-Changeling series gets longer, Singh still focuses on great world-building and fresh characters. The latest installment introduces new protagonists and expands the setting to India. While the book may not be the best entrypoint for new readers, longtime fans will find lots to enjoy.”

—Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

NoveList read-alike: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

The Stranger in the Mirror: A Novel

By Liv Constantine


“Addison is an amnesiac ready to move on with a new life when her past catches up to her. Readers of Constantine’s other books as well as those who crave a fast paced thriller will be very satisfied with this twisted ride into buried memories and uncertain futures.”

—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

NoveList read-alike: Have You Seen Me? by Kate White

The Therapist: A Novel

By B.A. Paris

St. Martin’s Press

“Alice and Leo move to a posh London neighborhood and soon learn a woman was murdered in their home. Unnerved, Alice grows obsessed with the homicide. It drives a wedge between her and Leo, but will it lead to finding the killer? This is a well-constructed thriller with solid character development.” 

—Kelly Verheyden, San Diego Public Library, San Diego, CA 

NoveList read-alike: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

While We Were Dating

By Jasmine Guillory


“Ben and Anna begin as colleagues and end as lovers in this sweet and steamy romance. Anna is an up and coming actress trying to make a name for herself. When Ben swoops in to help her in a family emergency, they become close quickly. But will their Hollywood romance last?” 

—Michelle Magnotta, Mamaroneck Library, Mamaroneck, NY 

NoveList read-alike: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Friday, June 18, 2021

Juneteenth and Libraries

While many libraries have been acknowledging Juneteenth for years, this is the first year it is a National Holiday. This is a huge deal because it means that the country will pause as a whole to contemplate the date the last American slaves were told that they were emancipated-- 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

If we want to be serious about ending systemic racism as a country, this is a real action step. Publicly taking time to acknowledge the day slavery "ended" for all Black Americans is an acknowledgment of the fact that the actions of the government don't always trickle down to those they claim to help. This is a tangible consequence of systemic racism, and an example of one of many in our every day lives. But at least this one is loud and clear enough for everyone to hear, even if some only notice that government agencies are closed or that they didn't get mail. But all will notice it for at least a moment and they will have to reconcile with it. Yes I know some will only be mad or resentful, but look, we gotta take what we can get. The fact that they will notice is a step.

I hope you are doing something positive to celebrate our newest American Federal Holiday. You can click here to find resources and programs from public libraries all over the country.

And below is the curated collection that the Library of Congress has made available for you to share with your patrons immediately.

Juneteenth Content from Across the Library

[I will be back on Monday with the ALA Annual preview post I had originally planned for today.]

Thursday, June 17, 2021

RA for All Roadshow Visits Burbank [CA] Public Library And All of You Can Go for Free

Tonight I am beginning the new book promotion in earnest as I appear on a panel with best selling horror authors and a speculative fiction bookstore owner. Everyone, everywhere is welcome to join us for free. Details are below or here

But first, I want to remind all of my readers that I have a pre-order coupon for $5 off the new book available at the top of every page on both blogs. You can use that in conjunction with the standard ALA discount here. I have also received word that  the book will be out by the end of August, so you will be able to use it to prep for and work through the Halloween busy season.  

Okay enough book promotion. Let's move on to tonight's details. Join me, Grady Hendrix, Stephen Graham Jones, Sarah Langan, and Del Howison as we chat about the horror genre and out place in it.

Click the screen shot below or here and register to join us. It is free and open to all. Even your patrons can sign up. I am very excited because the BPL has worked hard to make this an engaging and interesting conversation. I hope to "see" some of you there.

Click here to register

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

RA For All Roadshow Virtual Appearance in the Harrisburg [PA] Region

Today is great example of how small libraries can band together to bring me to train their staff as today I will be working with a couple of libraries to do an interactive version of my basic RA for All: Flip the Script and Think Like A Reader.

This talk follows my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service as an outline, but there are slides to make it look better on Zoom. And with this presentation, the time has been expanded to 2 hours so I can increase the interactivity to almost exactly the same as in person. 

Not only is this combination of libraries for the same price more cost effective, but it is also a great example of Rule 8: "Working together is your best resource." I can't wait to show them how they are already living the rules and encourage them to keep it up.

Click here for today's slides or below on the screen shot of the opening slide. And click here if you want to contact me about training your staff virtually or from September 2021 person. 

Click here for slide access

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

LibraryReads: July 2021

Editor's note: There is some very exciting news about the Hall of Fame this month. It is so exciting it is getting its own special release on June 21st. So this month you will get two LibraryReads posts.

It's LibraryReads day and that means four things here on RA for All

  1. I post the list and tag it “Library Reads” so that you can easily pull up every single list with one click.
  2. I can remind you that even though the newest list is always fun to see, it is the older lists where you can find AWESOME, sure bet suggestions for patrons that will be on your shelf to actually hand to them right now. The best thing about LibraryReads is the compound interest it is earning. We now have hundreds and hundreds of titles worth suggesting right at our fingertips through this archive OR the sortable master list allowing you to mix and match however you want.
  3. You have no excuse not to hand sell any LibraryReads titles because there is a book talk right there in the list in the form of the annotation one of your colleagues wrote for you. All you have to say to your patron is, “such and such library worker in blank state thought this was a great read,” and then you read what he or she said.
  4. Every upcoming book now has at least 1 readalike that is available to hand out RIGHT NOW. Book talk the upcoming book, place a hold for it, and then hand out that readalike title for while they wait. If they need more titles before their hold comes in, use the readalike title to identify more readalike titles. And then keep repeating. Seriously, it is that easy to have happy, satisfied readers.
So get out there and suggest a good read to someone today. I don’t care what list or resource you use to find the suggestion, just start suggesting books.

Please remember to click here for everything you need to know about how to participate. Click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month.

And finally, here is LibraryReads' extremely helpful Resources page.

Now let's get to that list.... 


Announcing the July 2021 LibraryReads List! 

Such a Quiet Place: A Novel

By Megan Miranda

Simon & Schuster

“The tight-knit neighborhood of Hollow's Edge is supposed to be a safe, private place where the neighbors all know each other. But secrets lie behind every door. Miranda creates a vivid setting where the characters develop quickly, and the twisty plot will keep readers guessing until the end. For fans of psychological thrillers like The Other Mrs., Into the Water, and Every Secret Thing.”

—Leslie Hagel, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT 
NoveList read-alike: A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

All the Little Hopes: A Novel

By Leah Weiss

Sourcebooks Landmark

“In WW II-era North Carolina, two best friends use their love of Nancy Drew mysteries to help find a missing man, while tending honeybees for the war effort and working on the family's tobacco farm alongside Nazi POWs. This coming of age story is heartfelt, mystical, and full of love and family. Reminiscent of Summer of My German Soldier and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.”

—Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
NoveList read-alike: The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna

The Bone Code: A Temperance Brennan Novel 

By Kathy Reichs


”Set in 2021, with some references to Covid, this thrilling read has a very contemporary feel, combining current scientific and forensic terminology with a sinister plot. A waste container turns up with two bodies, similar to an old unsolved case of Brennan’s. For fans of fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries like Prime Suspect and Carved in Bone.”

—Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, WI
NoveList read-alike: Nikki Heat mysteries by Richard Castle

Devil in Disguise

By Lisa Kleypas


“In this addition to the Ravenels series, Merritt, a young London widow, shares an instant attraction with a Scottish whiskey distiller named Keir, and they begin a steamy and passionate romance. But someone wants him dead. And Sebastian, aka Lord St. Vincent, is also in the picture. For fans of the Brides of Redemption and the Hellions of Havisham series.

—Leah Cummings, Urbandale Public Library, Urbandale, IA 
NoveList read-alike: Seduction Diaries series by Jennifer McQuiston

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel

By Emily Austin

Atria Books

“In need of a short novel with a unique and lovable character, genuine LOL moments, and an ending that is richly deserved, hopeful, and joyful? Then this is for you. It’s brilliantly written and also a brutally honest depiction of what it’s like to have severe anxiety. For fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Mostly Dead Things.”

—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier Public Library, Warrenton, VA
NoveList read-alike: Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Falling: A Novel

By T.J. Newman

Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster

"A pilot is given an impossible choice: crash the airplane that he is flying, killing everyone on board, or his family will be murdered. A tense, white- knuckle thriller with all the makings of a summer blockbuster. Perfect for fans of The Chain."

—Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL 
NoveList read-alike: Flight or Fright eds. Stephen King and Bev Vincent

The Forest of Vanishing Stars: A Novel

By Kristin Harmel

Gallery Books

"Stolen from her parents at two years old, Yona learns to survive in the forest. Years later, Yona teaches Jews fleeing the Holocaust to survive in the forest. A tale of personal responsibility, betrayals, loss, and love that stays with you long after you’ve read it. For readers who enjoyed The Nightingale, Salt to the Sea, and The Baker’s Secret."

—Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, TX
NoveList read-alike: The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

By Becky Chambers


"The quiet life of a tea monk is interrupted when a robot arrives after centuries to honor a promise to check in. The robot cannot return to the wilderness until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. This is a book I will be recommending to everyone! For readers who enjoyed The Bear and The House in the Cerulean Sea."

—Liz Aleshunas, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO
NoveList read-alike: The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz

She Who Became the Sun

By Shelley Parker-Chan

Tor Books

"In her intense, wonderfully written, and completely absorbing debut, Parker-Chan gives 14th century China a stunner of a rewrite. When her father and brother die as a consequence of a brutal attack, Zhu leaves her impoverished village and takes on her brother’s identity and his fate. For readers who enjoyed Priory of the Orange Tree, Gideon the Ninth, and The Poppy War."

—Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY 
NoveList read-alike: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives: A Novel

By Kristin Miller

Ballantine Books

"When Brooke moves to the exclusive California neighborhood of Presidio Terrace, she befriends both Erin and Georgia. She finds out much more than she ever expected. Readers will be so wrapped up in the drama, privilege, and mystery, they might finish in one sitting. For readers who enjoyed Big Little Lies and Never Have I Ever."

—Danielle Aronowitz, South Plainfield Public Library, South Plainfield, NJ
NoveList read-alike: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


We have 12 Hall of Fame titles for July! As a special treat, we will release the printable list on Monday, June 21Congratulations to the following authors:

Linda Castillo
Karin Slaughter
Grady Hendrix
Samantha Downing
Darynda Jones
Sonali Dev
Lyssa Kay Adams
Tessa Bailey
Nalini Singh
Liv Constantine
B.A. Paris
Jasmine Guillory